Walleye fingerlings stocked in bays

ESCANABA — The Bays de Noc recently received a much-needed boost – 464,800 walleye fingerlings – through collaborative stocking efforts by the DNR, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and the Bay de Noc Great Lakes Sport Fishermen.

After Little Bay de Noc’s spring ice-out (when all the surface ice broke up), DNR crews conducted an egg take on adult walleye. Those eggs were transferred to the Thompson State Fish Hatchery in Manistique. A portion of that egg batch later was moved to the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe hatchery.

After hatching, the larval walleye were moved to ponds operated by the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe and the Bay de Noc Great Lakes Sport Fishermen.

The Sport Fishermen ponds yielded 329,600 fingerlings that were stocked July 1-9 in northern Little Bay de Noc near the mouth of the Whitefish River and Kipling.

closeup view of walleye fingerling

The Sault Tribe pond produced 135,200 fish that were stocked July 3 near Gladstone, Kipling and the lower Escanaba River.

“Working together with the DNR allows us to combine resources which complement each other, to increase the number of walleye fingerlings destined for the Bays de Noc,” said Rusty Aikens, fisheries enhancement coordinator for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Support from local organizations is critical to the DNR’s walleye stocking efforts.

“Partnering with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe and the Bays de Noc Great Lakes Sport Fishermen in rearing and stocking is an extremely valuable component of our walleye management program in the Upper Peninsula,” said Darren Kramer, the DNR’s Northern Lake Michigan unit manager. “These efforts allow us to enhance the world-class fishing opportunities available for anglers in the area.”

For more information on where and when walleye fingerlings were stocked, go to MichiganDNR.com/FishStock.

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